Interview - "We are Older in Music than Nigeria"
2014 you are back on the scene with a same face but a different identity. Why a sudden change and for which philosophy?
For me change is the only constant thing in life you know when you grow up base on circumstances and Life itself, it shape us I have been to many places. Travel from Nigeria, South Africa, I visited so many places in the world. I have learned a lot of lessons, made a lot of research then I undergo doing music so I decided to regard myself, step back, work, pray, then I did Rendez-vous. So I wanted like to present myself in another form. So I actually rebirth myself and decided to name it AMBE. So AMBE is the name of my rebirth (the new me).
You are naming your first comeback track “Rendez-vous”.Tell us is the Rendez-vous with you or with your fans?
You ask this question because we are in francophone areas. “Rendez-vous” is the neighbour hood that I grew up in Bamenda. If you go to Bamenda and you ask Rendez-vous, it is a place they call Rendez-vous. That is why you hear in the song I said “I go na for Rendez-vous waity man go do to make i money”. I have grew up in Rendez-vous as a child, I went through a lot of struggles.
That means, “Rendez-vous” is describing a personal experience or a particular environment?
Actually like I told you people “Rendez-vous” is the son, it is an attitude. It is a song of hope, a song of encouragement, it is actually my own experience and experience of any other child that grew up or is growing up from Rendez-vous because it is a struggling place or neighbor hood where you have to struggle to make it. In my song I am trying to encourage whoever is struggling that you can be whatever you want to be.
Coming back to your lyrics, at a particular moment in the text you mention that you want to be like Nelson Mandela, and in another form, you say I want to be like my president I remain for power. In that way, can we say you are a political engaged artist?
No I am not a political artist when I said “Je veux être comme mon président I remain in power”. Ok. I am just trying to say that I want to remain in power in my own domain. I am working every day so hard to remain in power. I am putting so much work me and my team and every dime of any hard working person has to be successful. And once, you are successful you would like to remain successful so that is the reason why I said “Je veux être comme mon president”. He work hard to be where he is at the moment, he is there you know, so I am working hard to be some where, and once I am there, I want to remain there. That is the traduction of the text.
Still in your text, at a certain line, you mention God. Is it a way for you to show on the protection of the Almighty in your life and that of your family knowing the harsh conditions in which you grew up?
As you see me AMBE, my foundation is God, because I believe, I am working so much. I am in work but without God, nothing is possible. And I am telling every body out there if you have struggling or pushing truck you have to put God first. They say with God every thing is possible. I am not the once that made that statement, but I believe and I know that with God every things is possible.
So what explains the fact that you have diverse to a typical form of Naija music?
No, No, no. My music is not Naija, my music is Cameroon. Why do I say it, Nigeria copy from us, they copy Makossa, Makossa is from Cameroon. We are older in music than Nigeria. You see so you listen to Rendez-vous, we are trying to play tribute, we play tribute to the Bamileke people, and the Bamenda people, there is a little bit of Ben Skin and a little bit of Jap. And actually, before we did that song, we have listen a lot of Talla André Marie. But it is still Afropop and African love it and I am happy for the fact that Cameroonians are dieing for it.
More and more, in the Cameroon music we are observing a mixture of French and English languages from artists in their lyric. So from you what is your own identity?
In Cameroon there is a lot of talents and I want first of all say a thank to Cameroonians or I think for making Rendez-vous this year one of the biggest Afropop song in Cameroon at the moment. So there is a lot of talent in this country, so I would just say let the people look out for more talents.
After this media tour, so in which way do you intend being more in touch we your fans?
Actually right now we are pushing promo and we are on my media tour in Yaounde. I was in media Tour in Douala. From Douala we went to Bamenda, I went to South West and now I am in Yaounde. So now I am focusing on my media tour. After the media you will see shows.
Keep your eyes on AMBE. For the main time, I only do private events. So keep an eye on me for public event coming soon.
Now that you are back in a new form, with a new identity, can you tell us the people pushing you ahead?
First and famous my family, Cameroonians and I have a beautiful team. You know when you see AMBE, there is power behind AMBE: Red Eye Entertainment, Glams Event, K.P.R, and Estelle Ahanda and you guys men VRJMUSIC.
At the moment, the current debate is on the seal of artists, that is their reward. Do you think you artists can live thanks to your art in Cameroon?
Music is passion for me. I can say it and I know that it is God given talent. I believe in what I do. And I believe that it will pay up. It has already being paying little by little you know, so I will tell people four things: "Il faut rêver" you need to Dream, “il faut travailler”, you need to work too much your dream, "positivité" staying positive in whatever you are doing, "possibilité" you need to have No limitation because nothing I mean, nothing is impossible. Every thing is possible with God.